The team feels defeated after wandering away from the small village, constantly questioning what they could have done different to avoid being seen as murders and monsters. As they rest for the night in a small alcove, a vision besets them.
Soveliss, Salymar, and Trindal find themselves traveling as disembodied souls with the unvoiced intent to reach the planes of the divine and demonic. There is a great, silvery sea, the same above and below, with swirling wisps of white and gray streaking among motes of light resembling distant stars set before them. Erratic whirlpools of color flicker in midair like spinning coins. Occasional bits of solid matter are be found here, but most of the adventurers perceive is an endless, open domain.
As they realize that the group stands together, a floating rock forms under their feet and the swirling wisps solidify to form a vision of an army. Spears, swords, and arrows are raised over the army’s heads, seemingly in a silent roar of battle. Three hundred of the soldiers march together and follow a single humanoid, the faces all blurred from an unknowing destiny.
Out of the entire vision, one thing stays etched on your memories: The Githyanki are coming.
The group awakens from the troubling vision, their heads spinning with a touch of fear but mostly confusion.
As the confusion dissipates, a young elven girl comes into focus. Her eyes are blank and her skin ashen. She breathes warily as though her lungs are failing. Once she is acknowledged her voice echoes from her without passion or inflection, so though an answering machine responds to the heroes rather than a child.
“Are you the Heroes of Berem? I have been asked to find you, to confirm if the Princess Soveliss stands. She is needed by her community immediately, for there seems to be a problem. I have not been permitted to learn the details, because I am a peasant and have no need to concern myself with the likes of my better. Please return home as soon as possible.”
Once she has a confirmation of their intentions to return to the elven lands, the girl freezes and succumbs to a seizure, dying instantly.
Hermy plunges his magic into the dead girl’s mind, recognizing a trap set for her. She was not a girl at all by the time she reached the group, she was merely an undead communication tool that was used by an unfathomable evil. As though her mind translated like a phone, once the “call ended” her life went along with it.
The group has a long walk to travel, knowing they must cross great mountains, small deserts, and massive rivers. Soveliss has no doubts on how to reach her home, for an elf never loses the natural compass that is imbued during childhood.
Agonizing over the decision of having the return through Berem to cross Lake Katmara, Hermy is delighted. He can be returned to the Monastery and be entrusted to the Realm walkers.
He reveals that he knows Soveliss’s grandfather. He met him during a voyage to the only known portal to the Earth Realm, a neighboring community of stoneworking elves. Soveliss’s Grandfather, Zulae, was a diplomat for their kingdom after he passed his reign onto his son, Soveliss’s father and was in Dirt Wright to smooth over trading disputes with their own kingdom of nature walkers.
Zulae was also an outsider when Hermy (then a healthy dwarf) visited, both feeling companionship in a tightly knit community that did not include them. Zulae was kind and extremely wise, doting on his grandchildren and bragging of the unity of the elven race. Hermy was drawn to the man, becoming friends with him during their extended stay and travels. This was the companionship that provided Hermy with Soveliss’s name. He knew she was an ethical person, trained by the only person Hermy never found fault with.
He also knew Soveliss would not understand what the Spawning Stone really was, which is why he could never have sent it to Zulae to be protected. He wanted it back and was slowly coming to regret his decision to have ever sent it away in the first place.
The group heads back to Berem, having first to investigation a large plume of smoke that rises from the village they had tried to save. Blunderbuss is sent ahead to assess the danger and informs Salymar that there is absolutely no signs of life. Interestingly, after the team investigates themselves, they find not a single piece of evidence showing that someone was killed in a village that has been burnt to the ground.
Once they realize that the spider webs from the Kind Spiders, too, have been burned they immediately return to the nest. The spider webs have been cleared and there are torches that have been hastily placed throughout the caverns.
Before they’ve had a chance to sneak too far into the cavern they happen upon a pair of insect cultists that have a woman, hands bound and mouth gagged, they are fighting through the tunnel.
Upon her release they learn that the cultists have taken the entire village and have them somewhere in the caverns.
The group explores the area, only two days after having left, and are horrified to happen upon a small room that is filled to the brim with brittle corpses of the kind spiders. Large, small, and dozens of the corpses fill the hollow spot to the ceiling.
In another area there is a wealth of knowledge that seems to have been transferred in there by the cultists, even guarded by a few who attempt to cast spells to defeat the adventurers.
In another large cavern opening they find the ritual room, lined with the pedestals that have men, women, and children tied to their tops. On either side of each sacrificial human stands two cultists, their arms spread, chanting an unknown language in synchronization that fills the cavern.
At the back wall, furthest from the entrance that the heroes stand in, is a massive grub whose maw is filled with viscious teeth. A terrible smell permeates from the giant insect maggot and its mouth drips with foul saliva tinged with the blood of innocents.
They slaughter those who were more than anxious to sacrifice the villagers and then faced the insect god who has slowly been devouring the poor souls offered on the slabs, regenerating its health and persevering through the fight.
If they do not defeat it in time (after eating 5 civilians), it transforms into a dreadful beast and holds up to the title of Insect God, happy to eat its own followers and priests.
Once they purify the cavern and allow the Kind Spiders remaining to reclaim their nest, the group heads back to Berem.